Restrictions announced in several Chinese cities to contain the spread of Covid-19 appear to have boosted demand for Baidu’s cloud service and artificial intelligence products.
The company beat quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday, thanks to its strong push in cloud services, robotaxis and autonomous driving during the last years.
Total revenue was 28.4 billion yuan ($4.22 billion) in the first quarter, compared to an average analyst estimate of 27.82 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Net loss attributable to Baidu fell to 885 million yuan, or 2.87 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS), in the quarter ended March 31, from a profit of 25.65 billion yuan, or 73, 76 yuan per ADS, a year earlier.
Baidu, which is often described as China’s equivalent of Google, has seen increased competition for its core search platform and advertising business.
But last month it received permission for the first time to deploy human-free robotaxis on open Chinese roads.
• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard